by April Jasper, OD
At some point, we have all asked or will ask ourselves, “is there ever a good time to implement a new EHR?” The truthful answer is: it depends. I recommend that new practices start from the beginning with an EHR as the extra features make it a no-brainer. Patients can be taught from the start to engage with the patient portal and create good habits with practice staff.
What if you are an established practice? When should you begin? Plan for two to three months of training and be able to enter 50 charts in the sandbox before you go live. To make this process easier, create time in your day — even just half an hour — to practice and do the same for your staff. Your office manager can help keep your team on track and should try to keep the owner and doctors on track too.
While it’s difficult to put down the phone and stop checking email, leave that one opening in your schedule to give yourself time to learn. I will always have another conference, event, or patient to attend to. So, my strategy is to schedule time for things I intend to accomplish or I will not get them done. Whatever your strategy is, you must commit to it; when you make that commitment, you will find that the “when” is no longer an issue.